Elite Prospects

2023 Player Review: NaLyssa Smith

September 19, 2023 – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Indiana Fever News Release

Height: 6-4

Position: Forward

Age: 23

Years Pro: 2

College: Baylor

Drafted: By Indiana, first round, 2022 WNBA Draft (2nd overall)

Overview: NaLyssa Smith was an integral player in the Indiana Fever’s growth in 2023. From her rookie season in 2022 to her second season in 2023, Smith increased averages in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounds (9.2), field goal percentage (47.7%) and free throw percentage (67.7%) during her sophomore season. Smith finished the season fourth in the WNBA in rebounds per game and started 28 of 31 games in 2023. The 6-foot-4 forward set a franchise record for most double-doubles in a season with 13 and moved to third all-time in a Fever career with 21, behind only Tamika Catchings (98) and Teaira McCowan (28). Smith surpassed both 500 career points and 500 career rebounds in 2023. She reached 500 rebounds in 59 regular season games, which is the fastest in Fever history and the eighth fastest in WNBA history. Her 285 rebounds pulled down in 2023 were the fifth most by a Fever player in a single regular season and 538 rebounds recorded are already 10th most in franchise history. Smith missed eight games in 2023 due to a left foot injury in the middle of the regular season.

Notable Performances:

May 28: In the first win of the regular season at the Atlanta Dream, Smith finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and went 10-of-15 from the floor. She became the third player in WNBA history to have multiple games recording at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three made 3-point field goals within their first two seasons, joining Tamika Catchings (5) and Breanna Stewart (2).

June 11: Against the Phoenix Mercury, Smith’s fifth double-double of the season featured a then career-high 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting with 12 rebounds.

June 24: Smith added 26 points and 11 rebounds at the Las Vegas Aces. It was the second of four games in 2023 Smith made at least 11 field goals.

July 2: Smith led Indiana in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor for what was her fourth 20-point outing of the season to go along with a team-high eight rebounds in a home loss against the Chicago Sky.

September 3: In an overtime win against the Dallas Wings, Smith joined Kelsey Mitchell as the first pair of Fever teammates to each score at least 30 points in the same game. Smith ended the game going 12-of-18 from the field and added five rebounds to her career-high scoring total.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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